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California 9, San Francisco 8, Us 4, Calgreen 3, To Do 1, Unit Building 1, You 1, Cal 1, Irc 1, Lawrence 1, Raincoat 1, The City 1, Mr. Fenni 1, Rosie Jenkins 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    September 12, 2010
    2:00 - 2:30pm PDT  

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>> good morning. today is wednesday, august 18, 2010. this is the regular meeting of the building commission. i would like to remind everyone to turn off their electric devices. the first agenda -- item on the agenda is roll-call. [roll call] we have a quorum. the next 10 and is president announcements. >> i have no announcement, other than we will move the items 5
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and 6 forward in front of the directors' report. >> item 5. report, discussion, and possible action to approve code amendments to the 2010 california building, mechanical, electrical, pummeling -- plumbing, residential, and green building codes and recommend approval to the board of supervisors. >> good morning, members of the commission. this impressive display of books here it is the next code cycle. this is the 2010 california building code, mechanical code, energy, and so forth. every three years, the state adopts a new code. by law, we are required to use
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the state code, and we are given authority to amend it based on local conditions, climate, topography. we have done this many times over the years. excuse me come up to 1984, we had our own code. since that time, we have had to take state coach, and by law, we have six months to make local changes and bring them toward to have an effective date of colon with the federal code. in doing your code update every cycle, we develop a code of cycle adoption plan, schedule,
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and i will point out, we are always on a tight timeframe because the city only gives us six months to make changes. that might be ample time for other jurisdictions, but we have to take the code to through the various subcommittees. i know some of you attended those hearings. we then had in-house staff comment, review, analysis, we have to bring it to the full board, mayor, mandatory 30-day waits -- so we are just always on a tight time frame. of course, the code never comes out early from the state. it always comes out exactly on time or blight, as it was this year. with that preface, we have with us the chair of the code advisory committee.
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he will say one or two things about it. we are pleased that this year is a consensus document that has undergone tremendous review. our basic premise in the code cycle was to bring forward previous amendments with as few modifications as necessary just to implement some of the code and changes that were made at the state level. the most significant issue related to the code this year have to do with the state's adoption of two new codes. one is called calgreen, the green building code, and the residential code. our biggest challenge -- carrying forward old amendments and finding places is a housekeeping matter. it takes time and effort, committees have to reach
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amendments and make sure that they go to the appropriate place. but the big thing is figuring out how to integrate them into san francisco's code. i want to talk about these changes, the calgreen code. as you know, san francisco adopted its own green building ordinance a couple of years back. we were way ahead of the state with regard to buildings. the state this year has adopted a california green building code and included language that said any local jurisdiction with their own code, they can continue their authority with local requirements, as long as they are at least pass strict as state requirements. what that required us to do is to take this state building code and look at our own, and for each provision, is this as
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strict as the state? if not, we need to bring it forward. in order to do that, we need to do a complete matrix for each provision. the city cannot have any code that are less restrictive than the state. either equal or more restrictive. what we ended up doing with the california green building code was bring in into our previous green building chapter, 13c, the environmental concerns chapter, and bring forward those more restrictive provisions in the state code -- and there were many -- and as well integrating our own green building code. that was done with a great help of the department of the environment, contracts with held on consultants.
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months and months, half a dozen hearings, public hearings on the green building code. it will make some differences in san francisco. it will make it more difficult and expensive to build certain types of buildings but the state said you must do it. it is interesting, and a green building stuff is happening so fast, everybody getting up to speed, it is almost standard practice now for most construction types, these days. the other big change in the code is the residential. the state, for the first time, and then did something called the international residential code, irc, and it applies to one and two-family dwellings. they adopted the code because many small towns and cities
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around the state primarily have some division construction, construction on lots that do not require the complexity that san francisco has. this is the san francisco building code. that is a substantial piece of documentation for a small builder in tracy to build a subdivision. so the state wanted to come up with a simple way for builders, designers, to build these homes without having all of the special requirements. this would apply to one, two- family dwellings separated by a property line up at least 3 feet or separated from and the adjoining building by at least 6 feet on another parcel.
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no more than three stories high, so on. it turns out, we do not have many laws in san francisco where you are building a new building, 3 feet from the adjacent property line, 6 feet from another parcel. so our big challenge was trying to figure out how you have this new, focused presidential code, which is really developed for another use, but we are required to adopt and use the california residential code. what we did is go through the california residential code and once again look at what provisions were you there more restrictive than the regular code -- and believe it or not, there were some -- and ones that
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were more specific. for example, all new residential buildings must have spiked -- fire sprinklers. that is not in the regular california code. we have to bring that provision forward. it has an exemption for alterations and additions. those are some of the things we had to go through. we took all those elements that we come were more restrictive and put them into the regular san francisco building code with a key that says that it is from the presidential code. -- residential code. we were concerned about having two separate codes, builders would have to carry two separate code books, engineers would have to understand two different codes. the regular california code standard for fire, protection,
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the egress, for all buildings in the city, so that we do not have a double standard. >> are we required to comply with the residential code, which was developed for smaller writ -- jurisdictions -- does that not mean that smaller jurisdictions are required to comply with the codes that we comply with? >> buildings that fall under the residential code, if you have a building, like in the downtown area, they have to use the regular california code. >> if you are using a one, two- unit building, you have to stick with the regular code? >> at this point, you do have to stick with the regular code. however, it does have some caveat. if your building is --
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here is what it might say. you are building a residential building. you have to use the regular code. we had to bring about stuff in. interesting to me is the fact that the residential code was developed by the state with the concept of basically providing the same level of construction and safety, fire protection, as the regular fire -- as the regular code. maybe we are more restrictive. nonetheless, we had to go through in every case where they were more restrictive. >> it is curious to me. if you are building a two-unit building, you would have this as an alternate, but we are required to enact more
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restrictive requirements into our code? >we always make our commitments to the state code but it seems like the residential code would be an alternate. >> it is a hybrid, a mix of both. >> yes, you could always use the original code, as it was intended to be more restrictive, but it turns out, they did not pay attention to all the details. i think there are 25 carry- forwards. >> i wonder what other things that i did not see when i was looking through it. >> how much more time as the review process been extended?
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>> the code review was a big problem for us, but now that it is all in the code, probably not a significant effect on our daily operations. everything is clearly in there. once we do training -- >> that is what i was going to ask. do we have some level of training so they are familiar? public not reach will only take place at the point where they are applying for their permit. >> as part of the plan, we have this coded option cycle which we are talking about today. then we have the next piece which is reviewing our administrative bulletin to make sure that they are all correct. then we have this.
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every year we try to do outreach, energy code training. we are coming up on it. it is already august. we will really focus on that in the next few months before the code becomes a effective. -- effective. there are few issues in chapter one that i should mention. i know you have not had a lot of time to review this, but chapter one changes -- things like changing the appeal of masonry. most of that done is is done ate
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board of appeals. having a seismic investigation and survey committee. we have a lot of other seismic hazards, the groups that have been developed through the city. that is purely a superfluous, believe. we had some changes to the use of the code reinforcement rehabilitation fund. dbi money going to the office of housing. now we are retaining some of that money to do some code enforcement, which i believe is a good strategy. we have fees and fee adjustments to be done on a separate time ordinance. we do not generally tried to do all of that related stuff. that is part of the code cycle.
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that has a different review process and timeline. the director will be bringing forward something in the near future. the housing code is simply carrying over the previous code. we are simply keeping our the updated based on the changes in the safety code. although, i understand part of the future plan will be to review the housing code and make sure that it is up to date. we are getting ready to do that. the next steps in this are updating the administrative bulletin, training. this code goes to the public publisher. for your general information, we do not pay the publisher to
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publish the code. he gives us free copies and they make their money by selling copies to the public. the contract is based on them in committing himself to the public at the lowest cost. it is not that they are finding a way to challenge the public but they are required to sell out the lowest price. there will be a new bid later this year. >> will then be in place by implementation time? >> the contract expires by the end of 2011, so we will start right after this is done. soon we will start the new rfp.
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>> you mentioned online the wing. is that free? >> yes, the contract requires that they maintain all of our amendment on line and up-to- date. when there is a change, even to an administrative bullet, they put it online. they are up there right now. recently, i am pleased to say, state codes, for the first time, are available online. for the past few years, it was only purchased because they had a copyright. there was a negotiated deal with the states that would allow other agencies to put up the actual state code online. that has been a big help to a lot of people, actually. i also wanted to say particular
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thanks to one of our staff members. kirk means. he took over a job after the previous person retired. lou aria passed away a few months ago. kirk has done the job of both of them and although it is new to him, he has done an extraordinary job. could i ask mr. fenni to say a word or two on behalf of the code advisory committee? >> i just wanted to tell you, there is a letter in your packet formally asking you to endorse our approval of the amendments. i wanted to talk about the process we used. it is a process that alan and
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warrants developed a while ago because of the short timeframe, we had to jump on these amendments. we separate the code by discipline. we have four, five standing subcommittees. the amendments go directly to the subcommittee for their review. in some committees we have representatives of staff, general public, members of the fire department, so we can hide -- hammer out all of the details. once the said committee reviews those, they are moved to the full committee. that is when we review all other responses. basically, fire, life, safety, green building committee, mep, general, structural. i want to recognize a few of the individuals. allen and lawrence came up with the idea to run this to the
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subcommittee. kirk has followed through with that process. it really speeds things up because we can get to the amendment. frankly, i think kirk spend a few late-night evenings on the administration with it. i also want to point out, the department of the environment was helpful in reviewing what are essentially the two big challenges. the green building -- cal green -- fitting into our green coat. he did a wonderful analysis, different spreadsheet to show that we were more or as restrictive. the one thing that floated to the surface, in cal green, there is a medium building category. i think it is thousandto -- 5000
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to 20000 --those would be small buildings to us in san francisco. so they are going to be captured in a way that is more akin to the larger buildings. i think that is all. if there are any other questions, i would be happy to answer. >> i have a strong concern for the gray water systems that we are in the process of looking into. is that part of the pummeling -- plumbing, progress moving forward? >> frankly, i am not the expert, so i do not know where that is coming into the picture. >> gray water systems have
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become an issue. department of building inspection has tried to get ahead of the curve by adopting one of the policies in the gray water system so that we have a basis to review those things. we are working with the public utilities commission on gray water programs and there are two folks over there rosie jenkins, susie are the two staffs. they are aggressively trying to encourage, reclaim recycled water, bring water cycles. it is a big issue that you need to coordinate with the health department. they are addressed in some way, raincoat, but not specifically
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authorizing gray water. there are water-related issues like storm water. the gray water is still under debate and we will be holding a number of meetings to encourage the department, if you are interested. >> i want to thank staff and our code advisory committee. clearly, this is a large project. people really give up themselves to best put this forward. i think, along lines of the new code, especially the green coat, maybe we could arrange to have an agenda item specifically letting everyone know what the new rules are.
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i get approach a lot of by people wanting to build green. >> i think we want to give as much information as we can, just to let people know what they need to do and what is available. >> we will be preparing them for the public, educational purposes. >> i would love to have an agenda item. maybe it is more appropriate for our region in the neighborhood -- having a meeting in the neighborhood. >> possibly part of that informational packet, seminar, would be an evaluation, impact
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of fees that would bring to mind is better to do it up front rather than later. the active role of green conservation, it is everyone's responsibility to implement it now. >> i just wanted to make mention about the calgreen, green building requirements. we're moving from prescriptive to performance. calgreen our performance-based code. they are evolving very quickly. it would be nice if we could tell everyone, this is what you have to do, this will be good for the next 10 years. i think calgreen will become
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law in january. i would not be surprised if we see a emergency amendments coming from the state, reacting to calgreen, then pushing back. this is a moving target. there is a snapshot right now. six months from now, it will probably look different. fitch is moving, everybody should be encouraged to do what is on the books right now, but be aware, it is probably going to get tightened over time. if people are on the fence on whether or not they want to go green, it is probably better to do it now and get things in place now instead of having someone tell you one year from now. stay tuned. this will be something that we will b